Doing Business with the County

Learn about what we buy, how we advertise and solicit, our competitive procurement methods and how to research current and past county contracts in this one page guide:

County Procurement Summary - What and How the County Buys

Insurance Requirements Reference (Updated 7/10/2020)

Active Term Contracts Expiring in FY 2023-24 (Updated 6/5/2023)

Supplier Registration

Thank you for your interest in doing business with the County of San Diego. All suppliers interested in doing business must register on BuyNet. There is no fee for any supplier to register, receive email notifications, download documents, respond to solicitations, or be awarded a contract. It is simple and easy to do. If you have difficulty with the registration, please call (858)505-6367 for assistance. Logging on as a guest for purposes of viewing solicitations does not require a registration. However, if you attempt to download a document you will be asked to register. Register with BuyNet today and begin receiving notice of business opportunities from the County of San Diego. The County does not mail out bid notices to contractors, but relies on BuyNet for all communications.

Other than that, the County of San Diego does not utilize prequalified suppliers except as identified separately for a particular procurement. Our goal is to seek competition for all County requirements for goods and services to the maximum extent possible. There are no setasides for small businesses.

“Bidders Lists”

The Department of Purchasing and Contracting does not use or maintain Bidders Lists, but instead posts all solicitations on BuyNet for all procurements such as Requests for Quotes (RFQs); Requests for Bids (RFBs); and Requests for Proposals (RFPs). Occasionally, Requests for Statement of Qualifications (RFSQs) or Requests for Information (RFIs) may also be posted on BuyNet. Email notifications are automatically sent to all suppliers registered on BuyNet based upon the particular commodity or service code(s) selected by the supplier during registration.

Tax Exemption

The County of San Diego is exempt from Federal Excise Tax. However, the County is not exempt from State of California Sales and Use Tax. Unless advised otherwise, suppliers must itemize all taxes in invoices presented to the County for payment.

Local Preference

As with many government agencies, the County of San Diego has adopted a local preference program for businesses located within the County of San Diego that are also certified as a Disabled Veteran Owned Business, Veteran Owned Business, or Small Business. A five (5) percent or fifty thousand dollar ($50,000) preference, whichever is less, may be applied to the total price during the evaluation of a bid or proposal in Request for Bid (RFB) and Request for Proposals (RFP) procurements. The local preference does not apply to Requests for Quotes (RFQs). To qualify as a Local Business, the business must maintain a headquarters or physical location providing the same or similar services to those proposed within the geographic boundaries of San Diego County. Local preference will not apply to public works contracts or where precluded by state or federal law or regulation.

Non-Discrimination and Non-Preferential Treatment of Suppliers

In accordance with Section 31 of the California State Constitution, the County of San Diego does not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the public procurement function. Therefore no special or preferential set-asides are allowed. However, the Board of Supervisors has established a special program for State of California certified Disabled Veteran Business Enterprises (DVBE) physically located in the County. This program may allow DVBE preference for purchases up to $50,000. If you qualify for this certification, please review County of San Diego, Board of Supervisor Policy B-39a for further information. Additionally, the County encourages and supports participation of small business in County solicitations. Our representatives regularly attend community outreach events where small business are counseled and assisted in registering on BuyNet. We are dedicated to providing support to the small business community desiring to do business in and with the County of San Diego.

Product Demonstrations

Similar to sales visits, product demonstrations are considered normal sales efforts. Suppliers often have a product or service that may be of interest to many departments within the County of San Diego. In this case, you, the supplier, can make arrangements for “product demonstrations”. However, this does not guarantee an order. In most cases, the department’s requirements will be solicited for competition on BuyNet.

Procurement Card

The County of San Diego has a robust procurement card (P-Card) program with over 10 years of usage. The program has issued over 600 cards to County Departments. Most cardholders have a single transaction limit of $2,500 for authorized small purchases. The County utilizes the VISA card program provided under the State of California CalCard contract, whose current procurement card contractor is US Bank. For information, please contact the Purchasing and Contracting P-Card Unit at (858) 505-6538.

How we Buy Goods and Services

The County of San Diego posts its requirements for goods and services on BuyNet. For routine procurements up to $250,000 where lowest price is the major factor, a Request for Quotation (RFQ) is normally used. Suppliers may submit their quote on line in response to the RFQ. More complicated and higher dollar procurements for goods, services, and construction will normally be posted on BuyNet under formal Request for Bid (RFB) or Request for Proposal (RFP) solicitations.

Below is a brief explanation of other procurement tools used by the Department of Purchasing and Contracting:

  • The County has many existing contracts in place that allow departments to quickly purchase a variety of goods and services at prices that have been assessed to be fair and reasonable through competitive procurement. Most of these contracts are in the form of Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPAs).
  • Job Order Contracts (JOCs) are competitively bid public works contracts used for repair, remodeling, or other repetitive work. Such contracts are awarded annually. JOCs cover a number of construction specialties such as general construction, electrical, asphalt paving, painting, HVAC, etc. As requirements are known, the County will issue task orders to the applicable JOC contractor to prepare a proposal for discussion and final task award by the County.
  • Cooperative purchasing agreements are used by the County of San Diego to expedite the procurement of goods and services. In this case, the County will “piggyback”, or utilize other public agencies’ competitively awarded contracts for the same products or services. These other agency contracts may be used if they are competitively awarded, are for the same or similar goods or services, and are still active (not expired).
  • The procurement of architectural, landscape architectural, engineering, environmental, land surveying, construction project management, and related professional services is governed by Board of Supervisors Policy F-40 “Procuring Architectural, Engineering, and Related Professional Services”. The County will invite professional service consultants to propose on a particular project.

Visiting other County Offices

County departments often request product and service information to keep current with the latest technologies, materials, sources of supply, etc. Furnishing sales literature or other product information is considered normal sales effort. However, such requests do not imply that you will receive an order. Depending on a number of conditions, a department’s final requirement may result in a solicitation being issued by the Department of Purchasing and Contracting.

Submitting Your Invoice

Invoices must contain the applicable Purchase Order number and the County department that received the goods or services. Although a specific contract may cite instructions as to submitting invoices, as a general rule, invoices should be submitted for each purchase order immediately upon completion of services or shipment of goods. The mailing address for the invoice is noted on each purchase order. Your Purchase Order or Contract should contain all the necessary information to submit an invoice.

Getting Paid

There are four steps needed before the County of San Diego can make a payment:

  1. the supplier must have a W-9 on file with County Accounts Payable (AP); and
  2. the goods or services must be received and accepted by the County; and
  3. the supplier must submit a properly completed invoice to the address indicated on the Purchase Order; and
  4. the receiving department must process the invoice into the County’s Oracle accounting system to allow AP to generate and mail the check.

For out-of-State Invoices, the County will pay California Use Tax directly to the State of California per Permit no. SR FH 25-632384.

Prior to first payment, new suppliers must submit a completed IRS Form W-9 and a FTB Form 590. Failure to submit a completed FTB Form 590 will result In back up withholding on all payments per California Revenue and Taxation Code section 18662.

Submit both forms to Auditor & Controller via fax at (858)694-2060 and mail originals to: 5530 Overland Ave, Ste 410 San Diego, CA 92123.

Prompt Pay Discounts

Should a supplier offer a “prompt payment discount” (i.e., the supplier will provide a percentage discount from the invoice amount if payment is made within a set time frame), time is computed from the date of acceptance of the goods or services, or, from the date the correct invoice is received in the office specified on the purchase order (or contract), whichever is later.

Direct Deposit Payments via ACH

The County of San Diego offers suppliers the option of receiving payment directly in their bank account, via an Automatic Clearing House (ACH) process in lieu of a check (warrant) payment delivered by the US Postal Service. The ACH process allows vendors to receive payments for their invoices directly into their bank accounts. In order to receive the detailed transactions, the account needs to be set up as ‘ACH received report’ and has to be flagged to collect addendum information. To participate, vendors must complete an ACH application. To enroll in the ACH process, suppliers should contact Accounts Payable (AP) at (858) 694-2053 to request an enrollment form and instructions.

Who to Contact Regarding Payment Status

Should you have questions concerning the status of a payment, the first step should be to contact the department that received your goods or services. If you have reason to think your payment has been lost, contact Accounts Payable (AP) at (858) 694-2053.

Disposal of Surplus Property

Surplus property is tangible property that is no longer of use to any County department because it is obsolete, uneconomical to repair, or valued only for its material components or contents. Surplus property may include anything from office supplies and furniture to vehicles and heavy equipment.

The County of San Diego does not maintain a list of items for sale. We use varying types of sale methods to remove our inventory. The sale of vehicles and heavy equipment has been contracted to a third party auctioneer and lists of vehicles and other items for sale will be provided by them. You can find out about upcoming sales by visiting our Auctions/Property Disposal page.

The current auctioneer on contract is Ken Porter Auctions (KPA).  KPA maintains a mailing list and handles all registration requirements.  Their phone number is  (310) 3537140 and local vehicle auctions are held at:

1327 Fayette Street
El Cajon, CA 92020
(619) 449-0735

KPA  posts items on their webpage as they become available for the next auction. Lists of sale items are available prior to the auction, at the auction site, and on their webpage. All Surplus is sold, AS IS, WHERE IS, with no warranty of any kind as to condition or serviceability.

County Property Disposal can be reached at:
Phone (858) 505-6355
Fax (858) 715-6455
Email:  Property Disposal